Panama; A True Adventurer’s Challenge

When I say Panama is an adventurer’s challenge, I do not mean it in a bad way. There are trips, and there are adventures. While some travel experiences are just meh, Panama presents a culturally diverse mix of activities that will test your appetite for adventure.

From snorkelling at Borcas del Torro to spending time with its unique wildlife; it is any adventurer’s dream.

A cultural heritage

How much do you know about Panama- besides its famous canal or once despotic leader? As a meeting point in the history of Latin America, Panama is a nation forged by an extensive number of cultures and traditions. They unite to create a uniquely complex, yet exotic environment.

The country’s diverse ethnicity is evident in its local produce, such as ceremonial masks, woodcarvings and pottery. It is also renowned for its architecture, festivals, and of course, its rich cuisine.

A trip to Panama automatically dazzles your senses; its seamless combination of indigenous and European cultures creates a nation unequalled. Its architecture is an indication of the various ethnic groups that live there. The homes built by the Yugoslavs, Swiss, Swedish, German and American immigrants are a stark contrast to the traditional huts in the Ngobe Bugle Region, a dwelling place of the native Ngobe Bugle Indians.

Panama’s cultural centres

The old city of Panama, Casco Antiguo, is being restored and is the site of great historical and architectural significance. In December 1997, it was officially recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The homes are strongly representative of colonial French, neoclassic and African influence.

Most of the architectural structures were built at the dawn of the last century. They include the narrow lanes with remnants of ancient ruins, the National Theatre, attractive colonial churches, and the Church of San Jose. The church still has its legendary golden alter which was saved from pillaging by greedy pirates.

Panama City is also endowed with plenty museums, like the History Museum, the Canal Museum and the Museum of Reina Torres de Arauz, which specialises in the anthropology of the isthmus. Others include the Museum of Religious Art and the Art Museum, to mention a few.

Traditional food of Panama

If you are a foodie traveller, this is where it gets more interesting. Because it is a melting pot of various cultures, Panama has a smorgasbord of delicious cuisines- each one developed uniquely by the founding fathers and early immigrants to the country.

Local delicacies include the Sancocho de gallina (chicken stew sauce), sweet corn snacks, jerked beef, fried rinds of pork and carimanolas (yucca rolls filled with deep fried meat). I hardly travel to a new place without trying out the local dishes- no matter how different. But the yucca was an instant hit with me, so I cajoled my chef to part with the recipe.

Many locals enjoy a variety of fish meals, including a popular staple known as Fu-fu. It is coconut milk soup with green plantains, fish and a dash of the distinctive spicy ingredient; “chombo” chile.

 

Activities on the tour

Enough of tales of Panama’s heritage. The country is a destination for exploring. I spent time in Boquete, a charming town located in the Chiriquí province. It is perched at the foot of Volcan Baru and surrounded by La Amistad International Peace Park and coffee farms.

At Boquete, you can take leisurely bike rides, visit local coffee plantations and see why the coffee from this particular region is so coveted. There is no shortage of activity here. It is no wonder Boquete is fast becoming a popular destination for the Adventurous traveller.

The following tours are available at Boquete:

  • Whitewater rafting

The Chiriquí providence prides itself in having the tallest mountains, as well as some of Panama’s longest rivers including Chiriquí Veijo and Rio Chiriquí. It is an amazing experience whitewater rafting along these rivers.

They are also renowned globally for their highly-accessible non-stop Class 3 – 4 rapids. Ready for adventure? The steep canyons and heavy thickets add to the breath-taking scenery and creates that adrenaline surge.

  • Tree trek tour

How at home do you feel in the forests? If you have been hiking back at home, I guarantee that nothing prepares you for the tree trek you will encounter at Boquete. With beautiful flora and fauna to browse through, and the overlying greenery, it is nothing short of spell-binding.

However, nothing beats the beautiful scenery of the backdrop offered by the Baru Volcano and the La Amistad Peace Park. One tip; never embark on an adventure without a high-quality DSLR- especially when you are visiting a place such as Panama.

 

  • Mountain Bike Tour

Are you an extreme sports biker? Then be prepared to attempt a daring 25km biking trip downhill. It coasts within the lush vegetation, meandering through local coffee farms and plantations. Beware of ruining the harvest though, as it is one crazy ride.

The mountain bike tour of Boquete offers a beautiful view of the region’s main areas. It is said that once you visit this region of Panama, you will want to come back with friends. I couldn’t agree more.

  • Hiking along the Baru Volcano

You probably became cautious when you saw the word “volcano”. Don’t worry, Baru is a gentle one and has been asleep for a while. There is no reason to panic (for now). Volcan Baru is the highest mountain in Panama and it is an ideal destination for hikers along the Quetzales trail.

Having been globally acclaimed as one of Panama’s beautiful trail, the Los Quetzales guides trekkers across the norther part of Volcan Baru. Don’t get lost in the whole experience; look out for the wild orchids and beautiful animal wildlife too.

The flora and fauna of Panama

Are you a nature lover? If you are, then be prepare to gongoozle at the vast beauty that awaits you. The name “Panama” gets its origin from pre-Colombia times; it means, “the abundance of butterflies, fish and trees.”  True, it is home to 954 indigenous bird species including migrating birds. Panama also has 225 mammal species, 143 amphibian, and 214 reptile species. With over 10,000 plant species including 1,200 varieties of orchids, one can agree that it is truly a haven of natural wildlife.

Are you a true adventurer? If Panama isn’t yet checked off on your list, what are you waiting for?

 

 

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6 tips to save money when you travel

Many of us wish we can travel but we don’t have enough money to make it happen. We have to work our behinds and scrounge and save and sometimes, we find that we haven’t saved enough. Getting on a plane and flying to a new country can be very expensive. But with good planning; traveling with little or no money can be very realistic.

Make use of any or all of the following tips to have an enjoyable trip without spending too much money.

  1. Find cheap flights: the cost of an airline ticket can take up a large chunk of your travel expenses. Using tricks like booking months ahead of time and choosing to fly during the week can save you money on flight fare. In order to reduce your flight expenses, try the following tricks and tips:
  • Book at the last minute: Airlines have been known to cut prices when they don’t have enough passengers to fill up their flights. If you intend to travel on Monday morning, doing your booking late at night on Sunday can save you some money.
  • Fly on weekdays: The weekend is normally a busy time to fly, a lot of people are rushing out of the city or country for a quick weekend holiday and so the possibility of scoring any deal is small. Flying on Sundays and Mondays might also not be such a good ideas as you have a lot of people trying to make it back for a new work week. Try Tuesday and Wednesday. These days are usually low traffic days and you might just get some cheaper flights.
  • Book a month in advance: Another good time to book flights is about a month in advance. Around this time, you are very likely to get prices way below the average fares.
  • Search multiple websites: You might need to search as much as 6 websites to get the best deal. Airfares on these websites differ with some offering lower fares than others. Signing up for price alerts is also a good way to get information when flight prices change.

To compare flight fares, you can use any of these resources

It is also a good idea to visit the websites of individual airlines; their fares are sometimes lower than 3rd party websites.

  1. Find cheap accommodation: Accommodation is another of the biggest costs travelers incur and finding ways to reduce that cost can lead to big savings. After finding a cheap flight, finding free or cheap accommodation should be the next item on your list. Fortunately, there a number of ways you can find decent places to stay without paying through the teeth.
  • Hostels: Hostels are definitely way cheaper than hotels. For the traveler looking to save money, staying in a dormitory with anything from 5 to 10 strangers should not pose too much of a problem. Staying in a hostel, apart from the advantage of being cheap, also gives you the opportunity to meet new people and make new friends. Not all hostels are dirty and gross as believed, some new hostels are clean and offer most amenities that hotels offer, they even have single rooms and double shares, although these are more expensive than the common dorm. If you are traveling in a group, you can get one if the hostel rooms for your entire group. That way, you don’t have to stay with strangers.
  • Hospitality Exchange: Hospitality Exchange is another great way to save money on accommodation when traveling. Hospitality Exchange not only helps save money, it also gives you the opportunity to interact with the locals and learn a local culture. You get to enjoy true cultural exchange, you learn about the culture and lifestyle of your hosts. Your exchange hosts will offer you the best tips on how to get the cheapest sightseeing and can point you out the best tourists’ attractions. You will also get to enjoy home cooked, local delicacies. This will also help you save money on meals, although it is advisable to share the cost of meals with your exchange hosts.

You can look up hospitality exchanges and other equivalents like:

  • Stay4free
  • Global freeloaders
  • Couchsurfing
  • Short term rentals: This is similar to home exchanges. A short term rental allows you to rent an already furnished apartment on your trip. These apartments are cheaper than hotels and have the advantage of home amenities. You can get short rentals in the USA, Europe, Australia and South Africa. If you are traveling as a couple or just a small group of friends, then this will be a great money saver for you. Short term rentals come with a kitchen, so once you can find your way to the local market or grocery store, you can do your own cooking and reduce food costs.

Look for popular rentals such as:

  1. Travel at night: If you are traveling in between cities, the best way to save money is to travel at night. The fares are cheaper, and you also get to avoid paying for accommodation. You can sleep in the ride.
  2. Use public transport: Most cities around the world have public transportation you can use. Some of these cities have passes or vouchers that can serve you for the whole day or even a week. You will end up spending less than if you used a taxi. Taxis are very expensive and will eat deeply into your budget. If you are staying in one city for a long duration, maybe a few weeks, you can even rent a bicycle for moving about. In Asian and African countries, you can move about on commercial mopeds or rickshaws. This way you save money on transport costs.
  3. Avoid ATMs: Using ATMs in foreign countries can be quite expensive. Whether in malls or airports. The best way is to go to a local bank and look up their exchange rate, and then carry out your transaction.
  4. Travel Insurance: Checkout AMI Insurance for great deals on travel insurance.
    1. Overseas cover. When you’re overseas, you want to know that everything will be taken care of if things go wrong. AMI travel cover includes all the important stuff, like medical and hospital treatment, lost luggage, personal liability and getting you and your family home in an emergency. Annual multi-trip cover
    2. If you travel two or more times a year, annual multi-trip cover can save you time and money. Take it out once and you’re covered for as many trips as you like, for 12 months, over 250 km from home, including domestic travel, up to a maximum number of days per journey.
    3. Visit AMI for more information: AMI Insurance https://www.ami.co.nz/travel-insurance

The next time you plan your trip abroad, consider one or all of these options to help you save on your travel costs. Traveling does not have to be expensive. It should be fun, exciting and an adventure. For more great travel tips check out this travel guide article.

 

 

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See Clearly With Auckland Optometrists

Your eyes are one of the most important organs in your body and it is important to protect them. A yearly eye exam can help prevent problems and will treat any eye issues that you have. You will also find out if you need glasses or not. John O Connor is one of the best Auckland optometrists and they have been helping patients see more clearly for 40 years.

You will find a combination of great prices, quality service, and a wide selection of frames when you use John O Connor. You can start with your yearly eye exam. They even offer free eye tests for glasses. You want to plan on getting an eye test once a year.

During your eye test, Auckland optometrists will take down your eye history and write you a prescription for glasses or contact lenses. You will also be evaluated for eye strain and you will receive an eye health assessment. The doctor will also check you for glaucoma and check the pressure in your eyes. After your exam, the eye doctor will go over your results, this is especially helpful if you’re after a family optometrist auckland as the whole family can get tested at the same time!

John O Connor carries a huge selection of eyeglass frames so you are guaranteed to get something that suits your face and your budget. They carry some of the biggest brands and you are always going to find quality frames that are going to make your face look its best. The right frames will play up your best features and look like they just belong on your face.

The professionals at John O Connor will help you choose the right frames and they will give you a great price on them. Looking and seeing great is easy when you have the right pair of glasses. You will also find all the latest contact lens technologies and new types of lenses that will make wearing contacts more comfortable and safe.

Auckland optometrists will ensure that your contacts fit comfortably and that your sight is crystal clear. No matter what you need for your eyes, you can always find what you need with John O Connor. Whether you want designer frames or contacts, they have what you are looking for.

Making an appointment is easy and you won’t have to wait long for your appointment date. If you need an eye exam or you want frames that are more stylish, make an appointment and transform the way you look. The right glasses can have a huge impact on how you look and feel and they are worth the money. When you wear the right glasses you feel confident and secure.

With John O Connor, Auckland optometrists, you are going to end up with quality eyewear that looks amazing. Don’t risk your eyesight by using eyewear that isn’t the best. Treat your eyes to eyewear by John O Connor and enjoy looking great and feeling great too. Your eyes are the window to your soul and you want them to look and feel refreshed and youthful.

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Drone buying guide NZ

O you’re in the marketplace for a drone that is new, you’ve shopped perhaps some local hobby stores, some sites, read innumerable newsgroups, and web log posts that are never-ending. All that and you still is to making a choice. Like other drone enthusiast our there, if you’re, it is possible to concur that at times, deciding on the best drone may be confusing and overwhelming job. Fortunately we’re here to help with this particular buying guide that is drone! Through years of expertise in the business that is drone, we’ve obtained priceless advice that can help so much as a well informed drone purchasing choice is made by the largest newbie. In the next post we’re going to share a few of the best suggestions we’ve about purchasing drones learned, and hopefully make you personally the procedures of drone shopping.

Hint #1 – Selecting the best kind of drone

This can be among the main things when they start their hunt to get a drone that most newbies frequently completely blow off. Several kinds of drones existing, the most used being: FPV Racing Drones Toy Drones, and Camera drones. Mixtures of several kinds also exist but we are going to focus on those three that are primary. In case your would like to take pleasure in the experience of flight, and looking to get some fun across your house, have a low budget, a plaything drone is mainly for you personally. In the event that you would like to get a cockpit view, and have an importance of rate, FPV racing is the approach to take! However, in case your interested in getting video or premium quality pictures from your heavens, a camera drone is the only choice. Before you start browsing an online retailer or go right into a hobby store, ensure you answer this question in order to narrow your hunt! Now the most popular type is camera drones, predominated by favorites such as DJI Mavic and the DJI Phantom 4 nz.

Hint #2 – Evaluating your ability level

Should you would like to conserve unneeded hassle and cash, be fair with yourself regarding your ability level. Don’t go out as well as obtain a $5000 drone that is complex, if you’ve never held a remote control. Take baby steps, plaything drones really are an excellent means to begin and hone your abilities before going onto a much more serious and bigger drone. Having said that, many of todays high end camera drones for sale nz which include the DJI Inspire Master, were created to be very simple to fly thanks to intelligent and automation flight systems. But why take the chance, start small and work your way upwards.

Hint #3 – Store limited to reputable brands

Deciding on the best brand is at least as important as choosing the drone that is right. Your planning to need a favorite brand that’s a solid community, excellent customer support, not to mention readily reachable spare parts. Unknown brands that are little lack all three of these things, also it might result in an incredibly satisfying experience. You’dn’t purchase an automobile that had no dealer to return to for service or which was hopeless to find components for, it’s the same when buying a drone. Stick with brands like DJI, Yuneec, 3DR, Eachines, Walkera, Parrot, etc.

Hint #4 – Don’t sacrifice quality for low cost

In the instance of of drones please don’t, although it’s tempting to shop the most affordable prices. In case your short on funds save up some more money and it to wait several months, as apposed to investing in a low-cost drone which will cause nothing but headaches. Consider me, I see folks do this way too frequently and it’s really a pity, because once and for all many of these leave the avocation after one negative encounter. Get a top quality brand name drone and spend the cash, it is going to last you forever and certainly will give you nothing but wonderful memories and good times.

Fast Recap

Make a decision as to which kind of drone is best for you personally, evaluate your ability level, don’t sacrifice quality for low cost, and store reputable brands. These suggestions can decrease the possibility of acquiring buyer’, and though fundamental, will make certain that the purchasing experience is a great one s remorse.

As always thanks for looking over this drone buying guide, as well as happy flying (or shopping)!

PS – Check out this incredible drone footage that goes across a mountain range!

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Aluminium Windows Auckland Make Your Home More Comfortable

If you have old and outdated windows, you might want to consider upgrading to aluminium windows Auckland. Old drafty windows let in the cold and make your heating system work harder which leads to bigger energy bills. When you upgrade your windows, you can save on your energy costs, beautify for your home, and even increase the value of your home. Read on to learn more about aluminum windows from the Window Factory.

The Window Factory has been installing high quality aluminum windows for over 35 years. The employees are specialist aluminium joiners and they work with the top window manufacturers to give your home the best windows in Auckland. The windows come in a large variety of designs and you can find both modern and traditional styles.

When you choose The Window Factory, you are going to enjoy the best service. They can handle windows, conservatories and interior and exterior doors. Aluminium windows are stylish and they are also easy to maintain, which makes them the perfect choice for your window needs.

The Window Factory is a family business and they focus on customer satisfaction and top quality service. Their windows will last through harsh Auckland weather and each window is top quality. The aluminium windows Auckland look great and they are reliable so you can enjoy decades of service from them.

There are many types of windows you can choose from. You can find frosted glass doors, frameless glass doors, French doors, sliding doors, brand new aluminium windows Auckland and any type of aluminium joinery. If you want it, you can be pretty sure that The Window Factory has it. All the products they offer can be customized which will ensure that you end up with a window or door that completely matches your home.

You can arrange for a free quote and an estimator will help you right away. The Window Factory offers design services for conservatories that take you from the design process all the way through building the actual conservatory. A conservatory is a great investment and it adds more space to your home. Conservatories let you enjoy the outdoors from a comfortable and warm indoor space. You can use a conservatory to eat, relax or even turn it into an office.

The professionals at The Window Factory will help you design a conservatory that is going to both compliment your home and fill your needs. The windows can be double glazed and there are plenty of styles that will leave you feeling happy every day. The Window Factory can also install French doors. French doors make a stunning transition to the outdoors.

With aluminium windows Auckland you can increase the value of your home and make your home a more enjoyable place to be. Aluminium windows are stylish and they make your entire home look more enticing. Whether you replace your windows or have a brand new conservatory installed, your home is going to look fantastic with new windows.

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